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  string(7744) "With the employment market tightening, many people are losing focus in their job search and applying for anything that they think they are able to do.  Regardless of what you feel you are capable of, the employer will have specified in their advert what they are looking for.

Read it and respond only if you have what they’re looking for or most of what they are looking for.  If they specify that they will not consider applicants without experience of using a certain system, it is a waste of your time and theirs applying with a covering letter saying “I don’t have the relevant experience but I am a quick learner”.

The hard and simple fact is; they don’t care.  The employer has specified something in their ad and the fact that you’ve ignored that and applied anyway does not impress – your application will likely become one of many dozens or hundreds that equally do not have the relevant skill or experience.

You are, in effect, telling them that you don’t think their brief is valid.  Of course, you are free to apply to as many jobs that don’t match your skills or experience as you like but you should apply knowing that you are most likely wasting your time, someone else’s and you are not getting closer to what you are trying to achieve – a job.

Read adverts and think about your experience.  If you have the experience but your resume doesn’t reflect it well then you will still be discounted.  The employer, after all, can only judge based on the information you have submitted.  If required, amend your resume emphasising your relevant experience.

Be be very careful to only add the things that you have actually done.  If you lie on your resume and somehow get through an interview process, which is unlikely, it will become very apparent in the early stages of employment which could be disastrous for you and your employer. So, it is absolutely paramount to ensure that your experience is communicated effectively.

Why not get a friend or relative to read through your resume and recite to you what they interpret as your daily responsibilities?  You will soon figure out how the information is being interpreted and it’ll give you some clues as to what needs to be added, taken away or emphasised in your resume.

Not being selected for an interview can be a hard pill to swallow, but you shouldn't take it personally. There are so many reasons why you may not have been successful at this stage but if you have done all of the above to the best of your ability then it could simply be that there are other people with more relevant experience.

If you do receive a rejection email/letter don’t – whatever you do – call or email the employer asking why they haven’t taken your application to the next stage.  It will not enhance your chances and will quite possibly result in them rejecting your applications in the future.

Your best bet is to reply with a polite and courteous email asking them to bear you in mind for any future opportunities.  You would be amazed how many applicants, who haven’t even had a response from most employers, take their frustrations out on the one company who has the courtesy to respond with a rejection letter.  They didn’t have to respond at all, and the fact that they did means that they could be a very good potential employer for the future.

You want to do everything in your power to stay on the good side of those people!

The Great Cover Letter Debate


In my experience, the cover letter is seldom read.  Frequently, I send resumes to our Clients with a brief description about the candidate and why I think they are suitable for the position.

Often, when I call a client to discuss an applicant I have submitted, it’s apparent that they haven’t read my summary.  This isn't the case for everybody, of course, but an understaffed department + a busy manager + lots of applications = Minimal time spent reading page after page of ‘I am the right person for the job’ letters, no matter how witty the content.

If you feel that a cover letter is relevant, or if the advert requests one, it would be beneficial to explain your current situation and give them a 2 or 3 reasons why you think you could be suitable for the position.  Avoid using “because I’m a hard worker” or “because I can work using my own initiative” – be relevant.  Look at the advert and think – what have they said they are looking for?  If they’re looking for somebody with experience of working in an Accounts Payable department and you have that experience, tell them.

You could also tell them about a key achievement or two within that role (but remember – keep it brief!).  You don’t need to go in to loads of detail about the job role or the length of time you worked there, because this is all detailed on your resume (or it should be by now!).

You also don’t want to give too much away, or there will be no need to call or meet with you.  Just give enough information to hook their interest and get you to the next stage.

Here’s an example:

‘You mentioned in your advert that you are looking for somebody with experience in an accounts payable role.  As you will see from my resume, I have a wealth of experience in this environment and during my time at ABC Company, I managed to reduce the queries log by 30% within my first 3 months.  I also noticed an error that a previous incumbent had made, which resulted in the company retrieving a significant amount of overpaid invoices.  I would be delighted to discuss this in further detail with you if I’m selected for interview.’

Numbers always attract an employer.  Whether it is percentages, financials or KPI’s, numbers demonstrate that what you’re saying is valid and gives a brief idea of how you benefitted the company.  Just be careful not to include confidential information!

Another option instead of a cover letter is to put a ‘Personal Profile’ at the top of the resume.  A quick, punchy summary of your experience and skills, and perhaps even a sentence about what you are looking for (remember – keep it relevant to the job you’re applying for).  As there is no separate document to open, you are saving the employer precious time (brownie points to be gained!).

Grammar and spelling – as I mentioned before, I cannot emphasise enough how important this is.  Nobody’s perfect, but your resume and a cover letter are the only information the employer has to go on and they will make a judgment based on what they see.

A final word on cover letters…  Do not – whatever you do – send the same one for every application!

Consider the junk mail you get every day – whether it’s via post or email – and think about how much you read.  The second you realise it’s junk, you switch off and delete it.  The same applies here.

If you are job hunting with limited success, ask yourself. How relevant is your experience to the jobs you are applying for?

 

Cox Purtell Recruitment Agency Blog / Sydney / Melbourne / Adelaide"
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  string(127) "Read job advertisements carefully and respond only if you have what they’re looking for or most of what they are looking for."
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With the employment market tightening, many people are losing focus in their job search and applying for anything that they think they are able to do.  Regardless of what you feel you are capable of, the employer will have specified in their advert what they are looking for.

Read it and respond only if you have what they’re looking for or most of what they are looking for.  If they specify that they will not consider applicants without experience of using a certain system, it is a waste of your time and theirs applying with a covering letter saying “I don’t have the relevant experience but I am a quick learner”.

The hard and simple fact is; they don’t care.  The employer has specified something in their ad and the fact that you’ve ignored that and applied anyway does not impress – your application will likely become one of many dozens or hundreds that equally do not have the relevant skill or experience.

You are, in effect, telling them that you don’t think their brief is valid.  Of course, you are free to apply to as many jobs that don’t match your skills or experience as you like but you should apply knowing that you are most likely wasting your time, someone else’s and you are not getting closer to what you are trying to achieve – a job.

Read adverts and think about your experience.  If you have the experience but your resume doesn’t reflect it well then you will still be discounted.  The employer, after all, can only judge based on the information you have submitted.  If required, amend your resume emphasising your relevant experience.

Be be very careful to only add the things that you have actually done.  If you lie on your resume and somehow get through an interview process, which is unlikely, it will become very apparent in the early stages of employment which could be disastrous for you and your employer. So, it is absolutely paramount to ensure that your experience is communicated effectively.

Why not get a friend or relative to read through your resume and recite to you what they interpret as your daily responsibilities?  You will soon figure out how the information is being interpreted and it’ll give you some clues as to what needs to be added, taken away or emphasised in your resume.

Not being selected for an interview can be a hard pill to swallow, but you shouldn’t take it personally. There are so many reasons why you may not have been successful at this stage but if you have done all of the above to the best of your ability then it could simply be that there are other people with more relevant experience.

If you do receive a rejection email/letter don’t – whatever you do – call or email the employer asking why they haven’t taken your application to the next stage.  It will not enhance your chances and will quite possibly result in them rejecting your applications in the future.

Your best bet is to reply with a polite and courteous email asking them to bear you in mind for any future opportunities.  You would be amazed how many applicants, who haven’t even had a response from most employers, take their frustrations out on the one company who has the courtesy to respond with a rejection letter.  They didn’t have to respond at all, and the fact that they did means that they could be a very good potential employer for the future.

You want to do everything in your power to stay on the good side of those people!

The Great Cover Letter Debate

In my experience, the cover letter is seldom read.  Frequently, I send resumes to our Clients with a brief description about the candidate and why I think they are suitable for the position.

Often, when I call a client to discuss an applicant I have submitted, it’s apparent that they haven’t read my summary.  This isn’t the case for everybody, of course, but an understaffed department + a busy manager + lots of applications = Minimal time spent reading page after page of ‘I am the right person for the job’ letters, no matter how witty the content.

If you feel that a cover letter is relevant, or if the advert requests one, it would be beneficial to explain your current situation and give them a 2 or 3 reasons why you think you could be suitable for the position.  Avoid using “because I’m a hard worker” or “because I can work using my own initiative” – be relevant.  Look at the advert and think – what have they said they are looking for?  If they’re looking for somebody with experience of working in an Accounts Payable department and you have that experience, tell them.

You could also tell them about a key achievement or two within that role (but remember – keep it brief!).  You don’t need to go in to loads of detail about the job role or the length of time you worked there, because this is all detailed on your resume (or it should be by now!).

You also don’t want to give too much away, or there will be no need to call or meet with you.  Just give enough information to hook their interest and get you to the next stage.

Here’s an example:

‘You mentioned in your advert that you are looking for somebody with experience in an accounts payable role.  As you will see from my resume, I have a wealth of experience in this environment and during my time at ABC Company, I managed to reduce the queries log by 30% within my first 3 months.  I also noticed an error that a previous incumbent had made, which resulted in the company retrieving a significant amount of overpaid invoices.  I would be delighted to discuss this in further detail with you if I’m selected for interview.’

Numbers always attract an employer.  Whether it is percentages, financials or KPI’s, numbers demonstrate that what you’re saying is valid and gives a brief idea of how you benefitted the company.  Just be careful not to include confidential information!

Another option instead of a cover letter is to put a ‘Personal Profile’ at the top of the resume.  A quick, punchy summary of your experience and skills, and perhaps even a sentence about what you are looking for (remember – keep it relevant to the job you’re applying for).  As there is no separate document to open, you are saving the employer precious time (brownie points to be gained!).

Grammar and spelling – as I mentioned before, I cannot emphasise enough how important this is.  Nobody’s perfect, but your resume and a cover letter are the only information the employer has to go on and they will make a judgment based on what they see.

A final word on cover letters…  Do not – whatever you do – send the same one for every application!

Consider the junk mail you get every day – whether it’s via post or email – and think about how much you read.  The second you realise it’s junk, you switch off and delete it.  The same applies here.

If you are job hunting with limited success, ask yourself. How relevant is your experience to the jobs you are applying for?

 

Cox Purtell Recruitment Agency Blog / Sydney / Melbourne / Adelaide

Tags: Career | Cox Purtell | Cox Purtell Blog | Job Applications | Permanent Recruitment | Recruitment Adelaide | Recruitment Agency Adelaide | Recruitment Agency Melbourne | Recruitment Agency Sydney | Recruitment Melbourne | Recruitment Sydney | Temporary Recruitment | Temps |

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